1 Answer | Add Yours
All of Swift's appeals are, of course, tongue-in-cheek, designed to demonstrate that when it comes to formulation social policy, rationality must be informed by morality and humanity. Economically, Swift argues that his proposal will benefit all parties (except, of course, the unfortunate Irish children.) It will save enormous sums of money, which would have been spent on raising the children, allowing them to "be rid of the charge of maintaining them." It will also give a salable property to poor Irish people and stimulate a great deal of commerce within the kingdom, especially among tavern-keepers and vintners, who "will certainly be so prudent as to procure the best receipts for dressing it to perfection." It will also, Swift tells us, foster family ties, by giving Irish mothers an economic incentive to care for their children, and husbands an incentive to care for their pregnant wives. Swift uses these arguments to satirize an excessive reliance on rationalism that he perceived in his time, and also to draw attention to the dreadful living conditions faced by people in Ireland, which was already being "eaten" by avaricious absentee English landlords.
We’ve answered 288,398 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question